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Leadership in the United Arab Emirates Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 17th, 2019


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) prides in a fast growing economy that is quickly spreading into different sectors; for instance, manufacturing, construction, tourism, and financial sectors like banks. Vital organisational results like job satisfaction, organisational citizenship conduct, turnover intentions, and organisational commitment associate closely with leadership styles.

The aforementioned outcomes are decidedly evident across cultural orientations and in diverse backgrounds (Al-Dmour and Raed 247-249). Within the public sector, appealing leadership is modestly associated with motivational outcomes (Javidan and David 229-244). The influence of delegatory styles of leadership on the efficacy of followers and motivation is evident as well.

Despite this aspect, the impacts of executive styles of leadership from participative and delegatory points of view have not been substantial in different sectors like the banking. Nevertheless, this research paper fills this information gap. This research paper evaluates the impacts of participative styles of leadership and compares it with impacts of delegatory leadership style on job satisfaction and self-identified feat of workers.

In addition, other leadership styles taken into consideration include autocratic, consultative, pseudo participative, and pseudo consultative. Therefore, it is an esteemed actuality that leadership style plays a key role in influencing employee performance, and thus the choice of leadership style is a vital decision.

Research objectives

With the use of a survey questionnaire, this research paper aims at measuring the common and desired leadership styles and their influences in the context of the United Arab Emirates.

Literature Review

Leadership is the capacity to bring about self-belief and support amongst individuals that are required to attain organisational objectives. Leadership style is the amalgamation of attitude and conduct by a leader, which brings about particular reliability and predictability in managing employees; moreover, it also underscores the comparatively reliable prototype of conduct that typifies a leader (Dubrin 23-36).

Studying of leadership style is a supplement to comprehending leadership conducts and approach. Leadership styles comprise autocratic, democratic, delegatory, participative, transactional, consultative, pseudo participative, and pseudo consultative (Mosadeghrad 85-86).

A leader could have the ability to perform efficiently in one condition, but not appear as efficient in another condition (Mosadeghrad and Yarmohammadian 11-28). Apparently, different leadership styles are required for dissimilar circumstances and every leader should distinguish when to demonstrate a given approach. The following are some of the aspects that determine leadership style:

  • Crisis condition
  • Operation and magnitude of the organisation
  • Phases in the organisation
  • Proficiency and performance of support staff
  • Rank in hierarchy
  • Undertaking attributes and expertise

The style of judgment making in every organisation is the outcome of intricate dealings of numerous aspects comprising the background and attributes of an organisation, the kind of judgments, and the aspects and inclinations of the judgment makers. The extent of complexity of the undertaking plays a major function in shaping the precise leadership style.

In the previous decade, the increase of international markets created several cross-cultural organisations and the resulting discourses shaped the foundation for carrying out international business (Adler 34-46). Literature argues that leadership conduct is culturally decided. For instance, countrywide culture plays a major task in deciding the efficiency of a given leadership style.

Likewise, state boundaries create substantial dissimilarities in leadership style. In cultural orientations where autocratic leadership style is practiced, it could be futile operating in a manner more typical of a democratic or participative leadership style.

However, in a cultural orientation that supports a more humanistic and fostering leadership, it might be practical for a leader to become caring and understanding for such a culture allows and propagates such values and leadership style.

Remarkably, a four-dimensional model shows that nationwide cultures differ and according to McKenna (56-58), they ultimately influence the choice of leadership style. Study in cross-cultural researches of administration upholds that managers take up dissimilar leadership styles, relying on the model of organisation and personal attributes.

In addition, leadership style varies considerably from nation to nation. Arab cultural orientation has particular unique features that dictate managerial judgment and conduct. The style of leadership is a task of the state of industrialisation while cultural attributes play a noteworthy function in moderating its influences.

Researches on leadership styles have disclosed that, there not only exist differences in the leadership styles desired by followers in diverse cultures, but also the particular conducts that reveal these leadership styles, which might differ from culture to culture.

Differences in cultural orientations might as well hinder the catholicity of fresh leadership models, like the transformation and transactional leadership styles. With respect to organisations, the impact of countrywide culture on personal performance is well instituted and the dissimilarities between cultural orientations of the West and of the East are moderately considerable.

The differences in cultural orientations of different countries are replicated in the way organisations are formed and run (Chen 45-47). For instance, organisations in China and South Korea have a tendency of being possessed by initiators and family units.

They have a tendency of being paternalistic, encourage values of collective ownership, uphold bureaucratic management, and centralised decision making with slight employee authorisation. In most cases, promotion relies heavily on family links and systems (El Kahal 78-90). Conventionally, the majority of Asian communities pursue a collectivist model.

On the other hand, Western organisations are inclined to ownership by public investors and managed by a professional executive. These organisations are less bureaucratic, embrace decentralised judgment making, encourage individualism, and are more authorising to their employees (Chen 48-56). In most instances, promotion is associated with individual capabilities and merits.

In Far East, no major style of leadership subsists in the building and construction industry in Hong Kong, although dominance for leaders to employ both consultative and participative leadership styles is a common practice. Studies of the judgment making approaches of the United Arab Emirates’ administrators and foreign workers imply that consultative leadership style is prevalent in this part.

Furthermore, scholars and researchers have carried out several researches across the UAE and put forward that leadership in the cultural orientations of Arabs cultivate participative and consultative inclinations (Al-Dmour and Raed 250-258). This inclination reveals the control of Islamic and ethnic standards and attitudes.

Some of the crucial features that are of concern to comprehend in the quest to understand the significance of the preference of leadership styles include organisational commitment and job satisfaction, which are direct aspects on workers’ performance and sequentially organisational achievement.

Job satisfaction

Typically, job satisfaction is described as a role of an observed association involving what an individual requires from the job and what an individual sees as an offering. Job satisfaction is the degree to which an employee feels optimistically or pessimistically motivated concerning his or her job.

Moreover, job satisfaction could imply a position that individuals uphold concerning their employments and their organisations, where they accomplish their tasks (Mosadeghrad 87-89).

Job satisfaction is usually distinguished as a complex construct that embraces worker views concerning an array of both essential and nonessential job aspects. It covers particular features of contentment associated with recompense, gains, promotion, working situations, management, organisational customs, and affiliations with workmates.

Job satisfaction includes a number of connected outlooks. For instance, individuals could experience arousing reactions to remuneration packages, promotion chances, associations with seniors and co-workers, and the job itself (McKenna 59-68). Workers that get job satisfaction are liable to being more fruitful and continue on the occupation as compared to their counterparts who do not get job satisfaction.

In addition, satisfied workers are more resourceful and carry out a bigger function in judgment making within businesses. When a manager and his or her approach stand out as reliable, he or she brings about positive results for the business that ultimately influences job satisfaction.

A research indicated that the utmost particular associations with confidence were corresponding to job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and organisational commitment, in that order. Leadership is a key determining factor of job satisfaction, for it stands out as a vital predictor and takes up an essential role.

In the United Arab Emirates, expatriate workers do not powerfully articulate that they are contented with the existing job security. Additionally, job satisfaction among expat workers is considerably associated with persistence commitment (Dirks and Donald 611-613). In a setting where cultural orientation is diversified, job satisfaction influences the efficiency of workers.


For this research paper, the UAE acts as the selected setting, anchored in its high score amid its equals in the Middle East and its situation as a representation of growth (Al-Dmour and Raed 259-261). The stretch of industries across various sectors creates a striking background for leadership study in the UAE. A

qualitative analysis of data was carried out among workers in the building industry to determine employee discernments of different styles of leadership. A developed survey questionnaire comprised of ten sections numbered A to J. Some of the questions relate to leadership style, aspects influencing job satisfaction, and aspects influencing organisational commitment.

Six leadership styles were explored, as outlined in the survey questionnaire. Altogether, four survey questionnaires were shared out to two chosen companies and filled by workers of different nationalities, available via professional associations. The group members filled two other survey questionnaires. Filled survey questionnaires were then collected a week after their release.

Data collection

Two members of the group, as well as four different leaders of different nationalities working at different managerial ranks in different companies in the UAE, filled the developed survey questionnaire as outlined below.

  1. Accounting manager
  2. Human Resource manager
  3. Marketing manager
  4. Production manager

The main intention of this survey questionnaire was to illustrate the leadership styles in the UAE with practical experimental data. Every response in the survey questionnaire was accorded a 7-point scale concerning whether the assertion was most common advanced (denoted by 1) or least common advanced (denoted by score 7).

The statements in the survey questionnaire assisted in measuring the leadership style, which the leaders and managers would employ in dissimilar conditions. The count of every statement was afterwards computed for every respondent in a way that each interviewee obtained a score on leadership style.

The sum of the scores for each style assisted in classifying the leadership style possessed. The analysis of data was afterwards carried out with the help of using percentages to illustrate the application of the different styles of leadership.

Results and Analysis

The common attributes of the survey questionnaire demonstrated that workers from India were the major demographic grouping in the building sector by nationality and male workers dominated. The incidence of described styles of leadership in companies and their observed frequency were calculated by the use of a 7-point scale.

Table 1 recapitulates the proportion of the responses, while Figure 1 shows the clear levels of prevalence. Approximately 30 per cent of the participants indicated that consultative style was highly prevalent whereas 50 per cent considered participative leadership style. Nevertheless, approximately 20 per cent of the participants were of the view that delegatory leadership style was highly prevalent.

Leadership style 1
2 3 4 5 6 7
Total of high prevalence (6 and 7) %
Autocratic 3 3 0 0
Participative 3 1 2 3 50
Pseudo participative 4 2 0 0
Pseudo consultative 5 1 0 0
Consultative 1 3 2 2 33
Delegatory 2 1 1 1 1 1 17

Table 1: Prevalence of leadership styles

Percentage prevalence of leadership styles

Fig 1: Percentage prevalence of leadership styles

The indications of the respondents show six powerfully influencing aspects with respect to job attitude (satisfaction). These include:

  1. Leadership style
  2. Stress
  3. Outside positive representation
  4. Passion for the job
  5. Pride working with current employer
  6. Suspension without notice

In addition, study of the aspects corresponding to their influence on the organisational culture showed that organisational culture is highly influenced by fostering respect for authority that was indicated by about 67 per cent of the responses.

Gender issues disclosed that though the fraction of female participants as compared to male is extremely low ( about 17 per cent), which is anticipated in the building sector, both genders have a tendency of valuing participative and consultative leadership styles. With regard to education, around 84 per cent of respondents had achieved a post-high school qualification.

Education Total %
Less than high school 1 17
High school 0 0
Diploma 1 17
Bachelor 2 33
Master 1 17
Ph. D 1 17

Table 2: Education qualification

Percentage education qualification of respondents

Fig 2: Percentage education qualification of respondents

With regard to cultural orientation, the survey questionnaire disclosed that the leadership styles inclination of the various nationality employees rotated about group welfare rather than individual reward.


The outcomes of this study show that workers in the UAE feel that participative and consultative leadership styles are mainly common. This aspect signifies that leaders in the UAE promote participation, contribution, and dedication prior to making judgments.

Leaders that encourage group discussions and judgments are formulated on general concurrence of workers. An explanation for this could be that, because the different sectors in the UAE are culturally varied, leaders desire to have universal agreement prior to reaching a decision.

The study disclosed that job satisfaction by the employees is highly influenced by the following aspects:

  • Pay
  • Kind of work
  • Job security
  • Behaviour of the leaders
  • Leadership style
  • Cultural orientation

The degree of response revealed that over 50 per cent of participants have a feeling that company leadership strongly control their job satisfaction. This authenticates earlier results, which affirm that participative leadership style decides job satisfaction (Dirks and Donald 613-628). It was found that job satisfaction is influenced by cultural orientation, just like in the case of previous studies.

On the other hand, this study discovers just a slight association involving job attitudes and cultural orientation. This observation is in line with the finding that job satisfaction in the European countries is highly influenced by the cultural orientation of the companies and behaviour of managers, while job satisfaction in the UAE is highly influenced by factors like job security, remuneration packages, and other gains.

In addition, it is evident that job satisfaction varies by gender. While male workers believed remuneration is important, female workers considered job security as a significant element in job satisfaction.

Workers at administrative ranks consider organisational commitment as highly influenced by the form of employment, organisational culture, and leadership style. Therefore, leadership style influences organisational commitment of workers in the UAE.


The findings of this paper reveal that workers usually perceive participative and consultative leadership styles as the common leadership styles. Moreover, it is evident that no style of leadership that is appropriate for every condition. It was found that leadership style highly influences job satisfaction of workers and powerfully influences the organisational commitment of workers.

From the research paper, it can be proposed that the kind of industry sector and magnitude of and organisation play significant functions when deciding the efficiency of leadership style in addition to its influence on job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

Works Cited

Adler, Nancy. International Dimensions of Organisational Behaviour. Cincinnati: South Western College Publishing, 2002. Print.

Al-Dmour, Hani, and Awamleh Raed. “Effects of transactional and transformational leadership styles of sales managers on job satisfaction and self-perceived performance of sales people: A study of Jordanian manufacturing public shareholding companies.” Dirasat: Administrative Sciences Series 29.1 (2002): 247-261. Print.

Chen, Min. Asian Management Systems. London: Thomson, 2001. Print.

Dirks, Kurt, and Ferrin Donald. “Trust in leadership: meta-analytic findings and implications for research and practice.” Journal of applied psychology 87.4 (2002): 611-628. Print.

Dubrin, Andrew. Leadership: Research Finding, Practice, and Skills. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Print.

El Kahal, Sonia. Business in Asia Pacific. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002. Print.

Javidan, Mansour, and David Waldman. “Exploring charismatic leadership in the public sector: Measurement and consequences.” Public Administration Review 63.1 (2003): 229-244. Print.

McKenna, Eugene. Business Psychology and Organisational Behaviour. New York: Psychology Press, 2006. Print.

Mosadeghrad, Ali, and Mohammad Yarmohammadian. “A study of relationship between managers’ leadership style and employees’ job satisfaction.” Leadership in Health Services 19.2 (2006): 11-28. Print.

Mosadeghrad, Ali. “The role of participative management (suggestion system) in hospital effectiveness and efficiency.” Research in Medical Sciences 8.3 (2003): 85-89. Print.

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